- The 24-year-old footballer is a French man and not a Cameroonian by his admission
- However, he expresses his pride in his Cameroonian heritage
- He made a three-day visit to Cameroon in 2023
For the longest time possible, there has been an ending question is Kylian Mbappe Cameroonian?
The Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) player always intrigues global football fans much as he plays for the French national team. He exhibits all the traits of an African athlete but France stole his heart.
Is Mbappe a Cameroonian?
The 24-year-old footballer is a French man and not a Cameroonian by his admission.
“I am not a Cameroonian. I am a French man,” he says. Mbappé was born in Paris, France, to a Cameroonian father, Wilfried Mbappé and a French-Algerian mother Fayza Lamari. He grew up in France and has played for the French national team since 2017. So is Kylian Mbappe Cameroonian? Let’s find out.
However, he expresses his pride in his Cameroonian heritage and has visited Cameroon on several occasions. He made a three-day visit to Cameroon in 2023 and it was a big deal since this was his first visit after his teenage years.
He had a meeting with the country’s Prime Minister and visited his father’s village. Nevertheless, he says that his admiration of his father’s ancestral home doesn’t overlook the fact that he couldn’t play for them. He blames it on corruption and he feels it is right to identify as a French man because it is France that gave him a chance to nurture his football dream while Cameroon demanded a bribe.
“At the beginning of my career, when I was still in the shadows, my father contacted Fecafoot to give me a chance to play with the Cameroon national team. They demanded a huge sum of money from us for me to be able to play for the team,” he recalls in a past interview with European media.
“My father who was disgusted by their attitude then turned to France, this France that has given me a chance to show the world what I am capable of. Today that I have become the most expensive player in the world, Cameroon now calls me and attribute to a nationality which is not mine. I am French and I will remain French.”
WHICH AFRICAN COUNTRY DOES KYLIAN MBAPPE COME FROM?
This stems from the popular question of is Kylian Mbappe Cameroonian. Genetically, he carries African blood since his father hails from Cameroon and his mother is half Algerian. His visit to Cameroon during the 2023 international breaks sparked questions on his nationality.
However, Mbappe maintains that he is a French man and identifies himself as so despite the greatness of the Cameroonian people. He grew up in Paris’ suburbs of Bondy which is an ethnically diverse community of immigrants in France. Bondy shaped him into a star footballer while growing up.
He joined his local football club, AS Bondy, at the age of six and it was here that his parents realized their son had a talent for football. Professional football clubs noticed his talent and his career got on to a start. In 2013, Mbappé joined the academy of AS Monaco. He made his professional debut for Monaco in 2015, at the age of 16 and quickly became one of the most promising young players in the world.
Then, in 2017, Mbappé joined Paris Saint-Germain for a fee of €180 million ($170 million then). He has since become one of the best players in the world and has won numerous awards, including the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
DOES MBAPPÉ HAVE NIGERIAN HERITAGE?
Another twist in is Kylian Mbappe Cameroonian is that he carries Nigerian heritage too. His father, Wilfried is half Cameroonian and half Nigerian. He immigrated to France from Cameroon for greener pastures and met his wife Lamari here. It was through her that he obtained permanent residency in France.
Mbappé has a younger brother named Adeyemi Mbappé, which is a Yoruba name meaning “the crown befits you.” This suggests that Mbappé’s father is of Yoruba descent, a major ethnic group in Nigeria.
The PSG striker hasn’t spoken publicly about his Nigerian heritage, but he has expressed his pride in his Cameroonian heritage.
Mbappe carries African heritage much as he plays for the national French team and identifies as a French man. He acknowledges his father’s land although he didn’t get an opportunity to play for Cameroon in the beginning.